Matt here: If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may remember that late in 2019 I advertised for a full time trainer to join my company. I have been in business for almost 6 years now and the demand for my training and consulting services has never been greater, and is growing all the time. I decided to take the plunge and employ someone to help me, and share the training load. But I didn’t want just anyone – it was really important to me that I find someone that was a great communicator and trainer, and could deliver my training content and my approach to teaching Power BI at the same level that I do. I found just the right person hiding in plain sight – Jason Cockington. I have known Jason personally for nearly 30 years – I first met him when he was still in high school. I recruited him because I was confident he could be the trainer that I need. Now, 2 months after he started working for me, Jason will be delivering his first training course for me 100% on his own next week. I am 100% confident that he will do a great job.
Moving forward, Jason will be delivering training and consulting for me. He will also be blogging articles on my site and helping people with their problems at Power Pivot Forum. I thought it would be a good idea for Jason to introduce himself. So over to you Jason.
Jason: Thanks Matt, and thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself. After I left school I trained to become a Marine Biologist. I then spent the next 15 years of my career carrying out biomedical research for different Universities. My focus was always to improve the operational efficiency in the research laboratories and the aquariums under my care.
In my last role I was the Aquarium Manager for one of Australia’s top Universities (the second largest aquarium of its type in Australia). In that role I developed informative reporting over the performance data, and these reports were undoubtedly pivotal to my success. But producing reports in Excel is very time consuming. I spent much of every day crunching data in Excel so I could identify trends in equipment reliability, water quality, livestock (fish) health, to name a few areas. I was heavily dependent on Excel to do my job, but there was always a disconnect between the data analysis done in Excel and the method of presentation of my results (be it PowerPoint and/or PDF documents). I always got frustrated when an unforeseen question was raised during a strategic direction meeting and the answer was not in my presentation. I would have to park the idea and go back to Excel to crunch more numbers or rebuild the charts. What I really needed was a tool where I could dynamically interact with the data to present my planned analysis as well as answer new questions that may arise. Such a product did exist but I hadn’t discovered it as yet. My life changed when I attended an introductory Power BI webinar.
Power BI was exactly what I needed
What I realised in this Webinar was that Power BI is an amazing piece of software.
- It could do everything I was trying to achieve and more.
- It is free to get started (luckily, because I didn’t’ have a budget to purchase new software).
- It is a Microsoft product and had been around for several years, yet I had never heard of it!
One reason I think I had not discovered Power BI is that the term “Business Intelligence” was completely new to me (it is not a term used in research). But this business intelligence tool was exactly what I needed for my research role.
Shortly after attending the Power BI webinar I attended a 2-day intensive training program, Power BI for the Business Analyst, run by Matt Allington. This 2 day course started me on my Power BI journey that lead me to where I am today. Since then I have learnt from many other sources including Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI and Power Pivot for Excel, a great book written by the SQLBI gurus, Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo, blogs and vlogs such as Guy in a Cube and I started attending the monthly Power BI User Group in my home town of Brisbane.
In November 2019 a blog post arrived in my inbox from Excelerator BI entitled I’m Hiring A Power BI Trainer/Consultant. I was over the moon. I was already hooked on Power BI and this blog post caused me to rethink the direction of my career. Could this be an opportunity for me to be come a full time professional Power BI trainer and consultant, and for me to help others on their journey? I contacted Matt and explained my interest in the position and outlined my extensive experience in delivering training and technical instruction to others. I pleased to say that Matt gave me the job.
So begins this exciting journey
So here I am. I have already had the privilege of consulting with some of our valued clients who were facing challenges and roadblocks in their data analysis. Knowing that I have helped make their life a little easier and brings me a deep sense of satisfaction and reward. I have spent the last 2 months gaining deep insight into Matt’s training content and I am now fully certified to deliver that material in live training courses. As we dive deeper into the Year of the Rat, I look forward to sharing my passion for Power BI with many people through our live training programs, forum, and blog articles. I feel deeply privileged to help Excelerator BI expand, and I am excited at the opportunity to help newcomers who maybe don’t even realise that Power BI is about to change their lives.